About Allan Carlson

Dr. Allan C. Carlson is Professor of History at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan. He is the president of the Howard Center, director of the Family in America Studies Center, the International Secretary of the World Congress of Families, and editor of the Family in America newsletter. He is also former president of the Rockford Institute. Dr. Carlson has written many books including Family Cycles: Strength, Decline, and Renewal in American Domestic Life, 1630-2000 and The Natural Family: A Manifesto.

Wilhelm Röpke’s Conundrums Over the Natural Family

By |2019-07-23T12:38:45-05:00July 16th, 2017|Categories: Economics, Family, Political Economy, Timeless Essays, Wilhelm Roepke|

Wilhelm Röpke grew mesmerized by population growth projections which counted 300 billion inhabitants on the Earth by the year 2300. In such an anthill existence, he asked, what would happen to those “unbought graces of life”: “nature, privacy, beauty, dignity, birds and woods and fields and flowers, repose and true leisure”… Today’s offering in our [...]

The Myth of the Fifties: The Permissive Society

By |2016-07-26T15:48:35-05:00August 2nd, 2013|Categories: Books, Culture, History|Tags: , , |

The Permissive Society: America, 1941–1965 by Alan Petigny The era usually denoted as “the Fifties” generated a remarkable set of social indicators. For the one hundred years prior to 1941, the American marriage rate was in decline. The proportion of the adult population that was married also fell steadily, while the divorce rate began a seemingly [...]

Agrarianism Reborn: On the Curious Return of the Small Family Farm

By |2014-01-31T16:06:59-06:00May 21st, 2013|Categories: Agrarianism, Culture|Tags: , , |

In 1941 the Prairie Farmer, America’s oldest farm periodical, celebrated its one hundredth anniversary. The centennial cover features a drawing of the iconic twentieth-century “new” farmer: tall, young, and slender. Bulky overalls have given way to tailored city clothes; the straw hat to a fedora. In the artist’s words, he is “a strong, virile, keen, [...]

Röpke’s Conundrums Over the Natural Family

By |2014-02-03T10:50:26-06:00January 21st, 2012|Categories: Economics, Political Economy, Wilhelm Roepke|Tags: , |

Wilhelm Röpke was an unusual free-market economist working in a difficult time. I believe that we should see him, first of all, as a product of 1914, the year which launched what he called “the devastation on so gigantic a scale to which mankind, then having gone mad, dedicated itself.” Mustered to war as a [...]

Russell Kirk: “Northern” Agrarianism and the Function-Rich Family

By |2014-05-30T18:53:22-05:00May 10th, 2011|Categories: Conservatism, Russell Kirk|Tags: |

According to Kirk, those seeking a viable future “will endeavor to make the family function as a device for love and education and economic advantage, not simply an instrument of the feeding-and-housing-and-procreative process.” In his autobiographical The Sword of Imagination, Russell Kirk labels himself “a Northern Agrarian.”[1] The same label surfaces in ISI’s American Conservatism: [...]

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